Re: appears or displays

Subject: Re: appears or displays
From: MarieM <marie -dot- moore -at- TEMPLATE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 09:11:42 -0500

Michelle wrote:
>Which is the correct, appears or displays? Is it a matter of preference or
>is one grammatically correct?
>1) The imported information appears in a table.
>2) The imported information displays in a table.

John Hoppe <johnh -at- RADIONICS -dot- COM> replied:

In the sentence you gave, I would always choose "appears" because it
"shows up" or "becomes visible." "Display" is a transitive verb, meaning
that the action transfers to something else; in your situation, it's the
computer monitor which is literally "displaying" the information. The
information itself is appearing.

John, thanks for pointing out that "display" is a transitive verb. I've
found myself wondering if schools are even teaching about
transitive/intransitive verbs any more, given the proliferation of the
misuse of "display" and "ship" as intransitive verbs.

I think there has been a big increase in writing things like "The
customer's ordering record displays on the first screen; billing
information displays on the next screen."

I'm getting tired of arguing with people who think using "display"
correctly--"The customer's ordering record is displayed"--is incorrect
because it's passive voice.

Does it bother anyone else to see things like "The XYZ system ships with
a complete set of documentation," or is it just me?

TechComm101: correct, complete, concise, cogent, coherent, and concrete

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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